I've always heard homemade beef stock is a good source of minerals, which my diet is lacking in.
I checked nutritiondata:
And it seems like it doesn't have very much minerals at all per cup.
Is nutritiondata wrong? Is it possible to get enough potassium and magnesium on a modern paleo diet from food alone?
Its hard to say if nutritiondata is correct as methods of home preparation can vary so much.
There seems to be little real scientific data on the nutritional composition of any stocks. The belief that it is packed with good things like minerals largely seems to be based on nostagia, people use to do it so it must be good for you. People like the folks at WAPF seem to prefer to stick to their beliefs rather than actually find out if they are true.
Sure a decent stock has some good things in it but I think people used it because it makes things taste good and didn't waste the bones rather than because it was a superfood. I expect it is helpful if you are really ill too, it has easily digested protein in it.
I would be really interested if anyone else has any good data on the mineral content of homemade stocks.
Ok I found one small study looking at calcium content of homemade beef bone stock. http://www.springerlink.com.ezproxy.webfeat.lib.ed.ac.uk/content/p7u013w7360016w2/fulltext.pdf
They split a beef vertebra bone in half and cooked it in a slow cooker, 90 degrees Celsius, for 24 hours in either neutral pH water or acidic water with vegetables. At neutral pH almost no calcium ended up in the water. After 8 hours of cooking in the acidic water at pH 4.5 with vegetables the stock contained about 35mg of calcium in one cup of stock. Cooking for a further 16 hours more did not increase the calcium much more. This is a little more than listed on nutritiondata but still will not add much to your overall calcium intake.
As bone has lower levels of other minerals I speculate that these would be lower than the calcium. Beef stocks are good for you for other reasons, and taste good, but perhaps you shouldn't rely on it for your minerals.
I prefer to mix in Great Lakes gelatin with anything liquid I eat. I find the smell of homemade gelatin to be repulsing while it is simmering. The benefits of eating gelatin I think have more to do with the amino acid profile of gelatin rather than any minerals that might be left after making it (I'm not saying their isn't any left but if you question this than there are other ways to ensure you're getting trace minerals). In other words if your eating a lot of muscle meat you are getting some amino acids more than others. Having the gelatin balances this out. I think ultimately hitting the correct balance is what is important. Very rarely is too much of one thing a good thing.
I think if you are concerned about trace minerals there are also a lot of good alternative ways to get these for example egg shells rinsed and then grinded into a fine powder which you can add to anything liquid, or something like Lewis Labs brewers yeast which has a variety of trace minerals in it like zinc, selenium, magnesium, copper, manganese, chromium, etc. Of course there are other ways... shellfish and other seafood are good sources.
I'd say it's best not to rely on one food source too heavily, variety is important if you want to optimize everything. Have your foundational foods but vary your sources of everything else, different fruits and vegetables, different species of animals and seafood.
I think WAPF occasionally pays for testing for various things.
I know that adding vinegar to broth (as WAPF suggests) has made the results a lot better and the bones I discard are very different than broth made without. Something is leaving the bones and is in the broth. That is why I am careful not to use CAFO bones for broth.
I wonder what it costs to have that sort of nutritional analysis done? I am mainly thinking about the carbs in beef tongue!
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